Beef Stroganoff

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Wed Jan 31 02:56:39 UTC 2001

   OED has "Beef Stroganoff" from 1932, but the details of its origin are not given.  This article indicates it first rose to fame from a Russian chef in Paris (1920s?).
   From THE INTERNATIONAL STEWARD, December 1935, pg. 70, col. 2:

_St. Regis Hotel Boasts of Rival_
_for Fame of Chefs_
   A RIVAL for the fame of Ranhofer, of Monselet and of Brillat-Savarin, in the realm of distinguished cookery, is Semplich Ignatovich (Not a single trace on a web search--ed.), whose dishes as created in the Maisonette Russe of the Hotel St. Regis would be difficult to surpass in any kitchen in the world today, according to the hotel.  Once chef to the late Czar Nicholas II, this Russian's name, only three months known on these shores, has come to be synonymous with exotic, tantalizing cookery, in the opinion of B. S. Bercovici.
   His cooking is full of violent contrasts and discords, and yet it fascinates the American palate once it has become familiar with it.  The name of Ignatovich's dishes are to be murmured by gourmet like a recitative of sweet symphonies.
   There are his Shashlik Caucasien, baby lamb brought in on a flaming skewer (originally a sword); Boeuf a la Stroganoff, a finely chopped filet mignon mixed with mushrooms, cream, fresh tomato puree, all cooked to a delicate rose tint; Poussin a la Broche, the most succulent of all small whole chickens, served also in flame; and blini, buckwheat pancakes served with melted butter, sour cream and caviar.
   Ignatovich came to New York when Madame Olga Tokaroff  (Also no hits on NY Times Personal Name Index--ed.) brought the Maisonette Russe from Rue du Mont Thabor to Fifth Avenue.  This boite, as it was first established in Paris, was the Russian woman refugee's dream of a grand salon to succor her exiled countrymen.  That it fulfilled its mission is history in Paris.  In October, the Maisonette Russe was brought in toto (chef, entertainers, atmosphere) to the Hotel St. Regis and was ensconced in the basement in a Scheherezade setting, inspired by designs from Leon (Col. 3--ed.) Bakst and by decorations from Colwell and Peferle.
   The distinguished chef suggests the method for preparing some of his more famous dishes:
   _Boeuf Strogonoff_
   (Beef a la Strogonoff)
1 lb. lean beef (preferably the fillet)
1 pint of stock
2 tablespoons of sour cream
1 tablespoon tomato juice
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
Onion, salt and pepper
   Cut the meat into inch squares, sprinkle freely with salt and a little pepper and let it stand for 2 hours.
   Brown the flour in the butter, work to a smooth paste, add the hot stock gradually, bring to the boil and strain.  Then stir in the tomato juice and sour cream.  Fry the meat in butter on a very quick fire with a little chopped onion.  When brown put the pieces of meat in the sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.  Bring to the boil, stirring well and serve at once.

(Recipes for "Caucasian Shashlik" and "Blinis" follow--ed.)

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